September 28, 2023

Labor and Employment Newsletter

3 min

We Want to Hear from You

What legal issues are keeping you up at night?

We are continuing to monitor key trends and significant updates that affect employers across a wide variety of industries. We want to make sure we touch upon issues that are of concern to you. We invite you to take a moment and let us know what you would like to hear more about in this newsletter. Click below to email our team of attorneys.


New Proposed DOL Rule May Mean More Workers Receive Overtime Pay

A new rule, proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (DOL) on August 30, 2023 (the Proposed Rule), will expand the group of workers who are entitled to overtime. If implemented, the Proposed Rule will undoubtedly force some employers to make a difficult choice: reclassify employees as non-exempt and assume the expense of overtime pay or increase employees' salaries to maintain their exempt status.

Proposed New Legislation Threatens California Employers

With the close of the legislative session, California employers are now waiting to see what new laws might go into effect. Below is a summary of some of the laws currently being considered for signature or veto by Governor Newsom.

Racist Robots 2.0: AI Liability for Discrimination

Recently, we alerted employers about how the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is putting employers on notice that it is scrutinizing how employers utilize AI for potential employment discrimination. Under many employment discrimination laws, however, liability is not limited to the traditional employer who manages the workforce and issues the paychecks. Instead, direct liability can extend to "any agent of" an employer if that third-party agent exercises sufficient control over an important aspect of the employment relationship—such as recruiting, screening, and selecting employees.

Education Roundup – Gender Equity Consideration in School-Sponsored Sports Policies

As independent schools work to promote equity, understanding, and inclusion of students across the gender spectrum on their campuses, it seems that legislative efforts on the state and federal levels are moving in the opposite direction. To date, 23 states have passed laws prohibiting transgender students from participating in school sports aligned with their gender identity. On the national level, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill in April that would ban women and girls from playing on sports teams based on their gender identity.

Tip of the Month

Thomas StrongTom Strong: While Wu-Tang Clan might be for the children, it might not be for the office. In a decision earlier this year (Sharp v. S&S Activewear, LLC), a federal appeals court held that playing music in the workplace with sexually explicit lyrics (Too $hort and Eminem) could give rise to a sexual harassment claim. If you receive a complaint about the playing of music with explicit or offensive lyrics, you should handle the complaint in the same manner as any other harassment claim.

About the Labor and Employment Group

The national, 40-person Labor and Employment team at Venable provides guidance and support across the full spectrum of workplace dynamics – helping employers control costs, avoid disputes, and defend themselves when litigation arises. As co-editors of this newsletter, Michael Volpe and Doreen Martin invite you to share the content with your colleagues and reach out with any questions.

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